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Article
May 18, 1957

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF HERPES ZOSTER

JAMA. 1957;164(3):265-269. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980030041010
Abstract

• The course of herpes zoster was studied in a series of 206 patients that included infants and octogenarians. There were 32 patients under the age of 20; in 30 of these (94%) the condition cleared up in 14 days or less. The infection was more severe and prolonged in older patients. In four elderly patients symptoms persisted six months or longer. The relative frequency with which the various parts of the nervous system were involved varied from youth to old age. No instance of involvement of the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve was observed in patients under the age of 20, but ocular complications did not appear to be related to the aging process. Postherpetic neuralgia did not occur in patients under 20 but was frequent in patients over 50. Sex, race, and season did not perceptibly influence the incidence of infection in this series.

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